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The big picture: Whether or not the climate is ripe for the introduction of such a subscription service likely depends on who you ask. On one hand, Covid-19 has prompted many people to explore ongoing grocery delivery as a way to reduce exposure to others in public. Conversely, the pandemic has put a lot of people out of jobs and now might not be the best time to peddle an annual subscription to those experiencing economic hardships.
Walmart was expected to unveil its answer to Amazon Prime, a subscription service tentatively called Walmart+, as early as March but the global pandemic put those plans on the backburner. Now, multiple sources have told Recode that the big-box retailer is ready to move forward with its launch later this month.
Walmart+, for those not up to speed, is a paid membership program that the company has been readying behind the scenes for nearly two years. Expected to debut at $98 per year, the membership will reportedly include unlimited same-day delivery of groceries and other goods from nearby Walmart Supercenters as well as additional perks like discounts on fuel at Walmart gas stations, the return of Walmart’s Scan & Go service and discounts on prescription drugs at Walmart pharmacies.
Sources also told Recode that membership holders will receive reserved grocery delivery slots, open-slot notifications and perhaps limited access to Walmart’s new two-hour express delivery option. Other perks could include early access to product deals and the addition of video entertainment components down the line.
It is unclear if Walmart+ will launch nationally in one fell swoop or via a staggered rollout. Seemingly, an all-in launch would have the most impact but we shall see.